Saturday, June 12, 2010
The A-Team to the Meh Team that's all B-Team
The opening sequence of The A-Team runs on the long side, but that's required to set up the "story" of this ragtag team of guys on the run from the government. It's probably one of the longest title sequences I've ever seen. That being said, I didn't mind it because it was a nice way of introducing these "old" characters played by "new" actors.
This film is an origin story that's brought to us, like I said, in the opening sequence, where the four men come together in Mexico, sort of like a romantic comedy "cute-meet" plot point on cracked out testosterone, tons of action and carnage. We jump eight years later to Iraq, who knows when exactly this eight years later falls on the calendar because we're told via subtitles that it's sometime when America is pulling out of Iraq, which of course has yet to happen, (if it ever does.) Hannibal, played by the impeccable Liam Neeson takes on a covert mission to take back stolen American counterfeit money plates from nameless bad Arabs. He, along with Face (Bradley Cooper), Murdock (Sharlto Copley) and B.A. Baracus (Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, who by the way is no Mr. T and "I pity the fool" who tries to wear that mohawk) design a pretty kick-ass plan to take the plates, the use of intercutting makes this sequence fast and fun. Anyway, to make a long story short, they're double crossed, sent to prison, then escape with the help of the CIA, then double crossed again by multiple people, then chased across countries (Vancouver does a good job as a stand in to many of the locations), ultimately betrayed again by a "good" guy who is bad. But the real bad guy, the one who chews up the scenery in an ode to 80's villains, is Pike, played by the almost long forgotten teen hunk Brian Bloom (co-writer of this film) and who, I am happy to report does a great job in his small, but important villainous role. And as a credited writer of the film, it leaves me wondering how he got both gigs. It's his first writing credit at almost 40 years of age, which I think gives all writers hope.
In between all the running, hiding, and escaping, things get blown up. Needless to say, the plot is ridiculous, but who cares!! There's eye candy for everyone! The ladies get to ogle Bradley Cooper who is handsome as Face, but also silly with the fake tan. The men I suppose get to ogle Jessica Biel's assets. The glaring difference between the two is that Bradley Cooper is believable in his role, whereas Jessica, who is limited as an actress already, is unconvincing in her role as an Army Captain. One scene in particular caused me to burst out laughing and I blame the director more so than Jessica: The scene in question involves a glass table and a few marbles that are tossed or flung (who knows what the character is actually doing) across the room in an attempt to show anger. It doesn't. It comes off as awkward and a crutch for an actress who lacks depth.
Overall, I laughed out loud at the silliness of the whole thing. The plot is all over the place and at times, jumbled, and doesn't make sense if you really think about stuff, but then again I don't think we're supposed to think during this film. I enjoyed the old school action sequences more so than the cgi stuff, ie. the tank in the sky? It's beyond absurd, therefore you really just have to go with it and enjoy the ride. I felt that the actors truly enjoyed making this film and I think that enjoyment is contagious, which is a good thing because it allows for flaws to be overlooked.
It's a harmless film and for a TV show turned into a film it's fairly good considering all the crap that has come before it. And stick around during the end credits for the theme song and a couple of bonus scenes.